The Arrest, Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ Compared to the Modern American Juris Prudence System

In Partial Fulfillment for Requirements of Police Science 1213
Rules of Evidence  Oklahoma State University   Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Prepared for  Dan L. Johnson, Ass’t Professor
Dept. Head of Police Science  Director Collegiate Officer Program
Oklahoma State University   Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
by   J. Todd Nunley   July 28, 1998

This was written by Bro. Todd Nunley while he was a student at the police academy in Oklahoma City.  Man’s justice system is often flawed and sometimes executed by wicked hands in a wicked manner. In contrast, God’s judicial system is perfect, flowing from a perfect God.

This paper will discuss the issue of the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ compared to the modern American Juris Prudence system. Mankind of this world and the United States, especially those in the field of law and or law enforcement, forget that the central event in history assumed the role of a judicial trial. This trial was for an individual that is first and foremost, my savior. And that individual is Jesus Christ, which is the Son of God and is one of the Godhead being the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. This trial was nothing more than an illegal trial and if something such as this would have occurred in today’s time the whole judicial system, including the judge, law enforcement and the correctional officers could have been arrested, charged and found guilty for many offenses that occurred to Jesus. Before one can study or discuss this issue we must first know about Jesus Christ, what he represented and what he taught.

First, It states in the New Testament in the Book of Matthew that the angel, Gabriel, was sent to inform Mary at Nazareth, a maiden espoused to Joseph, to announce that she was to become the mother of the Messiah. The Lord then told Joseph not to hesitate and take Mary as his wife, though a virgin, and would become the mother of the Messiah and that He should be named Jesus. The name Jesus means Savior. Savior is what is meant as the one sent by God to save His people from their sins.

Jesus Christ was referred to as the Son of God just as it states in John chapter 3 verse 16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus taught that we as the elect of God should believe and pray for God to have mercy on our souls and ask for forgiveness of the sins that we commit. It states in the Book of Matthew chapter 22 verse 37-40, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” He also taught that we should not have hate in our hearts but kindness and forgiveness and that we as his children should strive to be God like, even though this is unattainable as a human being, who is in a depraved state and is shackled with sin because of the fleshly robe we wear. It is also written in the Book of Matthew chapter 5 verse 43-48, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Jesus also performed acts of healing just as he healed a “dumb” man possessed with a devil, cast out demons as well as healing the diseased and restoring the daughter, Jairus, to life and raising Lazarus from the dead.

While teaching God’s word, many saw Him as a threat just as Herod and all of Jerusalem when Jesus was born. They were afraid that He would overthrow the reigning dynasty. Herod was so troubled that he had all male children two years of age and younger killed. Later in His life, we learn that Jesus Christ had been telling His disciples what was going to happen for many days prior to his arrest. In Matthew 16:21 the Bible states, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many thing of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” In Matthew chapter 26 it speaks of the conspiracy against Jesus Christ and how He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. Judas went to the chief priests and wanted to know what he (Judas) would get for delivering Jesus to them. A contract was made (more than likely a verbal agreement) for thirty silver pieces. It was at this time that Judas looked for opportunities to betray Jesus. As Jesus and the twelve disciples prepared for the last supper, Jesus told His disciples that one of the twelve would betray Him.

That moment of crisis comes swiftly. Judas, with approximately 200 Roman soldiers and 200 Temple police, broke into the stillness of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus and is identified to the soldiers by Judas kissing him. Judas also mocked him saying, “Hail, master, Greetings Rabbi” and then kissed Him. Mayhem breaks out as they seize Jesus and arrest Him; meanwhile one of the disciples (believed to be Peter) grabs his short sword and lashes out cutting off the ear of one of the high priests servants. It is believed that Peter had intended to split the servant’s head open but attempting to avoid the blow, the servant moves as his ear is cut off and the sword hits the armor of the servant. Jesus told Peter to put the sword down. Jesus then told the disciple that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword. Jesus faces the wall of violence and condemns it as is written in Matthew 26:55, “In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.” If this was such a crime in that time then wouldn’t they have arrested Jesus when He was committing the unlawful acts? I believe that if He had broke the law, while He was teaching in the temple with the soldiers present, then He (Jesus) would have been arrested immediately and taken before the high priest.

Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives believed to be on a late Tuesday night. Jesus was then taken before the high priest, Annas, again late Tuesday night. During this so-called “trial”, one of the temple guards beat Him (Jesus) repeatedly with the palm of his hand using some type of whip or cane. Then, Jesus appeared before the high priest Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin in a “night trial” late Tuesday night. During this “trial”, they spit in His face and continued to beat Him repeatedly with their fists and with the cane or rod. Jesus was then blindfolded and beat in the face and was asked for Him (Jesus) to prophesy who was beating Him.

Jesus appeared a second time before the Sanhedrin council. Jesus then appeared before the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, early Wednesday morning.

Jesus then appeared before the Roman ruler of Galilee, Herod Antipas. Herod took off his clothing and dressed him in a scarlet robe to mock His claim of kingship. Jesus appeared again before Pontius Pilate later on that morning. During this trial, Pilate tried to release him by appealing to the Judeans present three times. Pilate had Jesus beaten with a cat o’nine tails or a rod with metal or bone at the end so it would shred His flesh and a crown of thorns placed on His head while they beat Him again with the rods. The soldiers then placed a second purple “royal looking” robe on him and mocked Him (Jesus) again. Jesus was finally sentenced to death, without counsel, by Pontius Pilate.

Finally, Jesus was tortured and mocked by several hundred Roman soldiers until He was led to be crucified early Wednesday morning. This torture included repeated beatings with a stick, braiding a second crown of thorns, which they placed on His head and then beat into His head with a reed. The Roman soldiers then ripped off His clothing and replaced it for the third and then a fourth time with a Roman military cloak and then finally with his own original clothing, mocking His claim of kingship. Certainly, by this time He (Jesus), in the flesh, no longer resembled a human being.

During the trials, the chief priests, elders and all of the council looked to find people that would testify against Jesus to “bear false witness” but found only two. The people that they did find could not agree as to what Jesus did that was against the law. One of them stated that they heard Jesus say that he would destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days. The other stated that he heard Jesus state that He opposed paying taxes to Caesar and maintains that He is the Messiah, a king. Frustrated by the flawed testimony of his witnesses, the high priest poses the key question to Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?” There is no hesitation in Jesus’ reply, “I am.” And He adds a challenge to his opponents that they would, one day, see their prisoner coming as the “Son of man,” that haunting figure who would experience humiliation and rejection, but then would be lifted up in exaltation by God and return in triumph at the end of the world.

Jesus’ bold declaration of His identity is rejected as blasphemous by his opponents and they condemned Him to death and began to abuse Him again. It is ironic that the leaders whose responsibility was to defend the freedom and faith of Israel would become concerned with the rights of Caesar. However, Jesus’ powerful ministry of justice was a profound threat to Caesar to the oppressive might of Caesar. Moreover, indeed his mission had intended to “stir up the people” as Jesus has journeyed majestically from Galilee to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the revolution Jesus incited was not the predictable clash of alternate political systems, but a call for fundamental conversion and a spiritual Kingdom built on justice and compassion, a vision capable of shaking the foundation of every oppressive political system.

Further, irony is found in the fact that the secular authorities, Pilate and Herod, find Jesus innocent while the religious leaders tenaciously seek to destroy him. Pilate declares that the Roman Governor and the king of Galilee affirm, “I find this man not guilty.” Even when Jesus is mocked as a bogus prophet by Herod Antipas, the corrupt king and murderer of prophets could find no guilt in Jesus. Once again, Pilate refuses to condemn Jesus with the charges of sedition. On Wednesday morning, Jesus was led to be crucified. On the hill of Golgotha, Jesus was nailed to the cross, crucified and died. God’s power revealed not through staggering prodigies but in a selfless death motivated by love.

This has to be the most horrible, repulsing sickening acts that has occurred in mans history. Now that we have a history as to what took place to the Son of man let us compare what happened in comparing this to the laws that governed these acts.

We have nothing in this country that compares to the Jewish Sanhedrin. Its functions were political, legislative, judicial, municipal, religious and educational. In other words, if you could imagine a body which had many of the duties of our legislatures, judges, juries, city councils, township boards and school boards, you would have some idea of the Jewish Sanhedrin. There were three Sanhedrin, the local Sanhedrin, the Provincial Sanhedrin and the Great Sanhedrin, which sat at Jerusalem. It was the Great Sanhedrin before which Jesus was brought with a body of seventy-one members.

Members of the Sanhedrin were required to have seven qualifications, wisdom, gentleness, soberness, piety, hatred of mammon, love for the truth and to be of great repute. They were not allowed to seek office and one who secured his seat in the body through having sought it, was despised by his associates.

The court before which Jesus was tried was a corrupt court. Many of its members held their positions by purchase. The ideal system of selecting judges, to which I have just now called your attention, was not then observed. For a series of years during the decline of the Jewish Commonwealth, the worst men of the community sought and obtained judicial preferment. Judea was passing through a period of great political and religious excitement. At such a time, in any states the scum of society is stirred up and usually possesses the surface of the troubled waters. And then this court was prejudiced against Jesus. He had been condemned to death before He was tried. During the few months preceding this Tuesday night, the Sanhedrin had met three times to discuss the teachings of Jesus. At the first meeting a decree of excommunication had been passed, not only upon Jesus, but also upon all who should believe on Him. The Sanhedrin also had the power to excommunicate, and it had this power in spite of the somewhat feeble protest of Nicodemus, who was one of their number. At the two meetings, which followed, Jesus was tried, condemned and sentenced to death without having ever been present or having been given a hearing. All of this was in violation of the Jewish law as given in the Talmud, “Testimony shall not be heard in the absence of the party accused” and “No man shall be condemned unless he is present.”

The trial was in two distinct parts, or rather, in the form of two separate and distinct trials. The first was the Jewish, or ecclesiastical trial, and the second, the Roman, or civil trial. The first was conducted before Caiaphas Annas, and the Sanhedrin, and the second before Pilate and Herod Antipas.

Let us first consider the trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. Upon what charge was this man brought before the court to be tried in the middle of the night? Was it blasphemy, false prophecy, or Sabbath-breaking? The record points sometimes to one and sometimes to another. The real charge, evidently, was sedition and blasphemy. Jesus stood before the court and was questioned by the High Priest Caiaphas. His answers and His silence were alike unsatisfactory. Witnesses were called in, but their statements did not agree. At last, Caiaphas, in disgust arose from his couch and cried, “Art thou the Son of God?” Jesus answered, “You have said it. I am.” “What more need is there of more witnesses?” cried the high priest.... “He blasphemed,” and, says the records “Caiaphas rent his clothing.”

The vote of the court was taken and Jesus was condemned to death unanimously. The court adjourned and Jesus was handed over to the guards, who inflicted upon Him a series of repulsive indignities.

The Jewish court, or the Sanhedrin, had authority to try capital cases under their own law. In case of an acquittal of the accused, the matter was ended without “Roman interference; but in case of a conviction, the Roman Governor was required to review the case and confirm or reverse the decision. This provision was, to the Jews, a galling reminder of their subjection to Rome. This ends the Hebrew trial. Jesus is condemned. Let us now examine the Jewish law in search of errors.

The first error was the arrest of Jesus. This was an illegal arrest on three areas. The first because there was no legal business that was to be conducted after the sun went down. The second was because the arrest was effected through the agency of a traitor and an informant (being Judas), which was in violation of the Mosaic code and a rabbinic rule based thereon. And the last area of the arrest that was illegal was because it was not the result of a legal trial for the purpose of reaching a righteous judgment. These trials were nothing more than a “set-up” and there was no legality to any of the hearings.

The second error that took place was that the examination or direct examination before Annas and Caiaphas was illegal. The questions posed to Jesus were illegal on the basis of five areas. The first area was because the questioning was conducted at night. The second area was because that Annas and Caiaphas sat alone in each case, which was in direct violation of the Hebrew law which provided that no judge, sitting along, could interrogate an accused person or sit in judgment upon his legal rights. Thirdly, because Caiaphas seeks to make Jesus incriminate Himself in direct violation of Hebrew law. Fourthly, because the trial was opened with no previously prepared bill of indictments against the prisoner’s provisions necessary to legalize the proceedings of every court of justice, the Sanhedrin itself evidently originated the charges and could only investigate those brought before it. And lastly, because Caiaphas began the questioning with a captious question disregarding the law of witnesses.

The third error that occurred was that the indictment against Jesus was illegal on the basis of four areas. The first was because it was too vague. Secondly, because it was made in part, by Caiaphas, while Hebrew law permitted none but the leading witnesses to present the charge. Thirdly, because Caiaphas was abusive toward Jesus in his manner of conducting the hearing. The expressions used by the judge to the accused were to be humane and even kind. And lastly, was because the charge was presented by two witnesses who testified simultaneously which is a flagrant violation of all law and custom. Witnesses were to give their testimony separately.

The fourth error that took place is that this type of proceedings was illegal. There were five areas where these proceedings were conducted illegally. The first area was that the integrity of the witnesses were not established before their testimony was heard. All witnesses were to be duly put on oath before testifying. The second area is that the witnesses, though known to be false, were not punished as provided for in Mosaic Law. Thirdly, because Jesus was struck in the mouth. This disgusting act of brutality reflects one of the scenes of justice and the humanity of the judges. It is a fundamental axiom of Hebrew law, as of all law, except the Roman, that a prisoner is considered innocent until proven guilty. Another reason for the proceedings to be illegal was because the trial was begun and concluded within one day, a flagrant violation of Hebrew law. If a man were convicted on a capital charge, no judgment could be pronounced until the afternoon of the following day. One night must intervene between the verdict and the sentence. In the meantime, the judges partook of no food. Early the next morning they again assembled and heard the witnesses of the accused. As the day wore away, they discussed and pondered over the serious character of their duty and the great responsibility. Late in the afternoon, they took their final vote. If the required number again voted to convict, the accused was at once sentenced and led forth to execution. Dealing with the proceedings, it was lastly illegal because the trial was held at night, in direct violation of Hebrew law.

We have seen that Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane about midnight and that His first trial took place about two or three o’clock in the morning. In the Book of Luke it tells us that there was a daybreak meeting, which was evidently intended to give a semblance of legality and regularity to the affair since, as we have seen, the law required two trials of this case. The exact time of the beginning of the night session of the Sanhedrin is not known. It is generally believed that the arrest took place in, the Garden between midnight and one o’clock. Many people question as to why the Sanhedrin met at night knowing they were violating the law. The answer is referable to the treachery of Judas, and to the fact that “he sought opportunity to betray Him unto them, in the absence of the multitude. It also states in the Book of Luke that the members of the Sanhedrin “feared the people.” It also states in the Book of Mark that they had decided not to attempt the arrest and execution of Jesus at the time of the Passover, “lest there be an uproar of the people.”

The fifth and last area that was illegal, according to Jewish law, deals with how the condemnation of Jesus was illegal. This is dealt with in nine areas. First, is because the verdict of the Sanhedrin was unanimous for death. This fact marks a peculiar point of difference between our law in the United States and the Jewish jurisprudence. In our courts, a man who is condemned unanimously is thought to be guilty indeed. It was not so in the Hebrew courts. There the judges were expected to be the defenders of the accused, and if the vote to condemn was unanimous, it was taken for granted that the judges had failed in their duty as defenders and the accused was at once released. Secondly, because Christ’s condemnation was founded upon His uncorroborated confession. Jesus was compelled by the High Priest to be witness against Himself. Caiaphas said to Jesus, “I adjure thee by the Living God, to tell us Thou be the Christ the Son of the Living God.” The court had no right to ask that question. He should not have been called upon to incriminate Himself. The answer came, “I AM.” Upon his own testimony Jesus was convicted and condemned, and all this in spite of the fundamental maxim of Jewish jurisprudence, “No man convicts himself” and “at the mouth of two or more witnesses let it be established.” The third illegal act in Jesus’ trial was that the sentence was passed in a place forbidden by Jewish law. Jesus was tried for a capital offense in the palace of the High Priest, while Jewish law declared that all such trials were to be heard in the hall of hewn stone within the temple. The fourth error was that the High Priest rend his clothing in disregard of Jewish law. It states in the Book of Leviticus Chapter 21:10, “And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes.” The fifth error was because the session of court at which Jesus was condemned was held before the offering of the morning sacrifice. Since the morning sacrifice was offered at dawn of the day, it was hardly possible for the Sanhedrin to assemble before an hour after that time. The sixth error was because the balloting was irregular. The members of the Sanhedrin in case of a trial for a capital offense were required to vote in turn, beginning with the younger and each was to state his answer when his name was called, “I absolve” or “I condemn.” It was started with the younger first for the reason of the younger not being influenced by the older members of the Sanhedrin. In the case of Jesus, they all called out their condemnation at once. The seventh error that occurred was that the defense was not heard during this “trial.” There were and are to be two parts to every trial, the accusation and the defense. There was no pretense of a defense in the trial of Christ. The number eight error that occurred was the testimony of the two witnesses, false as they were, did not agree and in accordance with the law, Christ should have been at once released and the false witnesses slain. The ninth and last error in the condemnation of Christ according to Jewish law is that the witnesses distorted Christ’s words. He did not say, “I will destroy” or “I can destroy” but said simply, “Destroy.” They accused Him of saying, “I am able to destroy” when, in fact, John 2:19 states, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Immediately following the trial by the Sanhedrin, Jesus was taken in the early morning hour before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator. This sovereign was in his house in the northeast corner of the city near the Temple of Antonia. The punctilious Jews approached the houses but remained on the steps, not daring to go in, because it was the Passover season and they would have been “defiled” had they entered the house of a Gentile. It is one of the ironies of history that men so fearful of ceremonial defilement should think nothing of laying murderous hands upon God’s Son. Pilate, in response to their clamor, appeared on the steps. As he glared at this mob, which had disturbed his early morning meditations for these Roman Governors were not early risers. Fixing his eye upon the leaders, he demanded, “What accusation bring you against this man?” Caiaphas, at that moment, could think of none and answered, “If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered Him unto you!” “Take ye Him and judge Him according to your laws”, said Pilate, contemptuously. This, however, would not serve the purpose of the accusers, and they raised a clamor, when Pilate insisted upon knowing the exact charge.

The priests were hard “pressed!” It would not do to say that Jesus was a blasphemer. Pilate would have snapped his fingers at such a charge. What cared he for blasphemy? And yet, blasphemy was the charge upon which Jesus had been condemned by the Sanhedrin. All the cunning of the priests was demanded by this emergency. They must accuse Jesus of some political offense over which Pilate would assume jurisdiction. “We found this fellow perverting the nations and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he is Christ, a King”, said Caiaphas. It was a deliberate lie. At no time had Jesus forbidden to pay tribute to Caesar. On the contrary, He had explicitly told them to render to Caesar the things, which were Caesar’s. The charge, however, had to be made; else, Pilate would not take charge of the case.

Jesus therefore stood before the Roman Governor charged, not with blasphemy, but with treason against the Roman state. The Jews all of a sudden were concerned over who should be paying tribute to Caesar. The Priests knew that the charge was a mere pretense and had to be made or Pilate would not assume jurisdiction over the case.

The charges of high treason and sedition against Jesus were all the more serious because the Romans believed Palestine to be a hotbed of insurrection and sedition. Pilate was, therefore interested at once when he heard this charge. Pilate must have said, “If this fellow pretends to be a King, as Simon and Anthrogenes did, If he says that Judea has a right to have a King other than Caesar, He is guilty of treason and it is my solemn duty, as deputy of Tiberius, to ascertain the fact and have Him put to death.”

The beginning of the interrogation of Jesus within the palace is reported by all in the same way. Addressing the prisoner, Pilate asked, “Art thou the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Sayest thou this of thyself or did others tell it thee of me?” Jesus simply desired to show whether the question was asked from a Roman or Jewish standpoint. If the interrogation was directed from a Roman or temporal point of view, if Pilate was thinking of legions and navies of a king like Caesars lording it over men by sheer military power, surrounded by a scheming and corrupt court, if that was what Pilate had in mind his answer would be an emphatic negative. If, however, the inquiry had been prompted by the Jews, it was then pregnant with religious meaning and called for a different reply, one which would, at once, repudiate all pretensions to such a kingship as Caesar’s and at the same time assert His claims to the Messiahship and to that higher sovereignty which is still in the future when the kingdoms of this world (shall) have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.

But all of this was lost upon Pilate, who answered, “Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the Chief Priests have delivered Thee unto me. What hast Thou done?”

To this Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world, if my kingdom were of this world, then would my Servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

First, he had replied negatively, “My kingdom is not of this world.” By this, He meant that there is no possible rivalry between Him and Caesar, but in making this denial, He had used two words of grave importance, “My Kingdom.” Those two words had to have struck the ear of Pilate with electric force, and in Pilate’s reasoning in the use of the two words, Jesus stood self-convicted. For how, thought Pilate, can He pretend to have a kingdom unless He pretends to be a King? And then as if to intimidate the prisoner, as if to avoid an unpleasant issue to the affair, he advanced threateningly upon Jesus and asked the question which the Bible puts into his mouth, “Art thou a King then?”

Jesus then stated, “Thou sayest that I am a King. To this end I was born, and for this cause I came into the world, that I should bare witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”

The effect of this statement of Christ’s on Pilate is evident for he at once appeared before the Priests and declared; “I find no fault with him.” Thus, Jesus was acquitted of the political charge by the court having Him in custody. He should have been released and set free at this moment. The blood thirsty Priests, however, would not permit this, and raised a large overbearing crowd before the palace, insisting upon His execution. “He has perverted woman and children.” They cried, “and systematically stirred up the whole nation from Galilee to Jerusalem. There is not a village or town in the land where He has not won converts and filled them with the wildest expectation. He has appealed to the nation to join His kingdom.”

The Priests were unfortunate in mentioning that Jesus was a Galilean. Herod, the Tetrarch of Galilee, was in Jerusalem at the time. Herod Antipas had long desired to see Jesus, not because of any real desire to know Him, but simply as one might look forward to seeing a great magician or wonder worker.

His interview with Jesus however, was disappointing. Jesus, in his presence, maintained an attitude of lofty reserve and of supreme contempt. Finally, tiring of his efforts to have sport out of the Man, and perhaps awed by His majestic presence, Herod orders Him returned to Pilate. Herod was crafty and would not allow himself to become entangled in a trial that could have such grave possibilities of trouble with fanatical Jews. No doubt, it was with an inward chuckle that he referred the whole tangled matter to his enemy, Pilate. One can well imagine Pilate’s feeling of disappointment when he saw the Jews returning Jesus, to him. I am sure that he thought that he had gotten rid of this awkward case.

Pilate probably thought also at that time that it was the custom of the Roman Procurator to release one prisoner who might have been condemned to death during the week of Passover. Pilate reminded the Jews of this custom and declared, “I will therefore chastise Him and release Him?” The Jews replied saying, “Why, O Pilate, art thou chastising the Man? If he is guilty of the charge brought against Him, chastisement is not sufficient punishment, If he is innocent, chastisement is unjust.” There can only be one answer to the question. Pilate in this way sought to compromise with the blood thirsty Jews and is handed over to be scourged.

After the scourging was accomplished, the crowd began to mock the King. They also placed cast off clothes that was a dirty moth eaten purple robe on Jesus while another was pressing down on the crown of thorns. It was at this point that the priests cried out in sullen fury, “Away with this man Jesus, crucify Him.”

Pilate was now dismayed indeed. During the time that Jesus had been before Herod, Pilate had received a message from his wife, Claudia Procula, in which she had urged him to “have nothing to do with this just Man.” Calling for a bowl of water, he washed his hands before the mob, declaring, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Man.” Why did he stand washing his hands when he should have been exercising them? The Jews responded, “O, Pilate, blood does not come off so easily, His blood be upon us and upon our children.”

Pilate again stepped out from the final examination of Christ again seeking to release Him.

Christ had been acquitted three times. By all standards for law and justice, He should have been set free at once. Convinced of the innocence of Jesus, and cordially despising every Jew in the mob, from the most humble artisan to the broadest phylacteries. Unfortunately, Pilate was in their power and caught in the middle. One of the Jews told Pilate, “If thou let this Man go, thou are not Caesar’s friend.” These few words are what held Pilate from releasing Jesus and immediately handed him over to be crucified.

In a few short hours, Jesus was arrested, taken before the Sanhedrin, found guilty of blasphemy, then taken before Pilate, charged with treason and acquitted. Jesus was then taken before Herod on the same charge and acquitted. After this, He was taken before Pilate on the same charge and again acquitted. Still the priesthood thirsted for His blood.

There is a fundamental rule of law, which says that no one shall be tried twice for the same offense, which is commonly referred to as “double jeopardy.” Jesus had been tried four times, once condemned, and three times acquitted. Then He was crucified not for the crime that He had been convicted, but for the crime of which He had been three times acquitted!

If this had occurred in today’s modern American jurisprudence system, there would have been several violations of the United States Constitution. After studying the U.S. Constitution, we can see where there were six amendments, where if this had occurred in a modern day United States, that were violated in the arrest, trial and overall treatment of Jesus Christ.

The first violation, according to the U.S. Constitution, was from the First Amendment. The first amendment guarantees the right of American citizens to have the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. I also believe that another area of the first amendment that was violated was the right of the people to peaceably assemble. As I have covered in the previous pages, Jesus did not have the right of freedom of religion, which was shown by the arrest. When Jesus Christ was teaching in the temple this would have fell under the right to peaceably assemble, which is allowed under the first amendment of the United States Constitution.

The second violation that Jesus was the recipient of was from the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The fourth amendment states that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The area of the fourth amendment that was violated was when the soldiers and Temple police came to arrest Jesus. With this, there was not an affidavit containing probable cause for the arrest of Jesus Christ. Not to mention that there was not even an affidavit for the arrest of Christ and that there was no one that supported this information by oath or affirmation for the arrest of Jesus.

The third right that was violated in the arrest of Christ was the violation of the Fifth Amendment. The areas of the fifth amendment that were violated states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury; nor shall be compelled to in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without the due process of law.”

In Jesus’ arrest, He was held in detention for a capital offense without an indictment issued from a Grand Jury nor was there a complaint signed by an affiant and judge. This was a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment. Christ was illegally arrested because of there not being an indictment or complaint signed and issued from an official judicial representative.

The second area of the Fifth Amendment that was violated, was Jesus being compelled to testify against himself. During the questioning or interrogation by the Sanhedrin, Caiaphas asked Jesus, “Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness (false as they may be) against thee?” Jesus held His peace, not saying a word. Again, Caiaphas asked Jesus, “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Because of silence being a wrong answer, Jesus answered Caiaphas saying, “I am, and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

It should be noted that giving an answer to the Sanhedrin, Jesus submits to this human governmental authority although He was no less a person than the Son of God. He submits as a man. He does this even though this governmental agency is abusing its authority and its power in the most flagrant manner. No word or act of Jesus can be cited in support of rebellion against unjust and tyrannical government, His example is entirely to the contrary.

The third and final area of the Fifth Amendment that was violated is that Christ was deprived of life and liberty without due process of law. Jesus was arrested and detained illegally, according to the times taken into custody, which resulted in his deprivation of his liberty.

The fourth right that we as Americans are afforded that was violated in the life of Jesus Christ was His violation of the sixth amendment. The sixth amendment states, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” The first violation of the sixth amendment that should be examined was his right to have a trial by an impartial jury. Apparently, Jesus was not afforded the choice of a trial by the judge or by a jury. Granted, a trial by jury in this area would have been futile and would have more than likely ended with the same results but a motion for change of venue, in my opinion, should have been granted because of the individuals involved with the whole “scheme” and because of the knowledge and attitude of many of the residents in this area. It is clear that the individuals in this time and area did not believe that He was Christ and this was apparent by the actions of those that attended both of the “trials” that Jesus had before the Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate and Herod. They were clearly against him and did not believe that He was the Son of God.

The second violation of the sixth amendment was that Christ was never informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. Jesus was never advised of what official charges that were being brought against Him when He was initially arrested and brought before this “kangaroo” court. Every person in these United States has a right to know what he or she is charged with and should be duly informed, hence, an initial appearance or arraignment.

The third violation of the sixth amendment is the right to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor. As stated before, this situation is legally frightful. A large number of judges should have risen up and protested against such outrageous proceedings. The Sanhedrin had already without witness, indictment or anything else decreed its victim’s death. That death was to be secured no matter how. Those who could decree that death would certainly now not be squeamish about the means to be employed to attain their end means. Only one way is open for the Sanhedrin to stage this legal farce and they must seek false witness against Jesus by lying and perjured testimony, to bring Him to death. Not only did these two false witnesses lie in their testimony, they could not agree on their information that supposedly took place. In addition, Jesus was not given the opportunity to “cross-examine” the two witnesses. This is one right that all defendants are afforded in the American legal system. Any testimony that is given in a legal hearing has the right to be crossed or questioned to the validity of that testimony.

The final violation of the sixth amendment was that Jesus Christ did not have the assistance of counsel for His defense. He was not afforded counsel and should have had that right. This is one area of law in our system in America that everyone is afforded whether they can afford it or not. Everyone is given the opportunity to have legal counsel before they are held to answer to the charges that are pending. The purpose of this is to assure that each individual is represented equally under the law and has the proper legal advice and direction to take in a hearing.

The fifth legal right that was abused comes from the eighth amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The eighth amendment states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” The last area of the eighth amendment is the one area of this amendment that was definitely excessive. Jesus was stripped of his clothing with the body bent forward across a low pillar and the back was stretched and exposed to the blows. In order to hold the body into position, His hands must have been tied to rings in the floor or in front at the base of the pillar and His feet to rings behind. The research could not agree that the hands were tied behind the back, for this would place them across the small of the back where some of the blows were to fall and would shield the ribs where the whip ends were to lacerate the flesh.

The Romans did not use rods as the Jews did, each rod making only one stripe and cutting only the back. They used short handled whips, each provided with several leather lashes and ugly, acorn shaped pieces of lead or lumps of bone that were fastened to the end of each short lash. The strokes were laid on with full force in order to get more vigor into the action. Two whips were applied, one from each side. The effect was horrible. The skin and flesh were gashed to the very bone in every direction, and where the armed ends of the lashes struck, deep bloody holes were torn.

Christ was beaten so badly that he no longer looked like a man. It states in Isaiah 52:14, “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Cruel and unusual punishment is an understatement as to the blunt hatred that our Savior saw.

The fourteenth amendment (and sixth violation) states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This area could be described as all of the above. Many of the areas in this constitutional amendment have been covered. Had Jesus Christ had the protection that we as Americans are given this terrible act would have never occurred. But, as it is written in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” This means that this was going to happen and had been predestined since the beginning of time. Christ came to save HIS people from THEIR sins, which shows possession (i.e., the elect) of those mentioned.

There is a sense in which the trial of Jesus continues to this day and will continue to the end of time. It was not only an actual but also a symbolic trial. Mankind itself was on trial. Not only Jesus but also His judges, His accusers and the multitude of spectators consisting of Jews, Romans and Greeks (a cross-section of humanity) were on trial. The Jews were engrossed with the glories of the Temple and their national destiny; the Romans with the might, majesty and power of Imperial Rome, the Greeks with the intellectual and cultural superiority of Athens. They all rejected Christ (and the love of God which gave Christ, which shows the depraved state of mankind) and chose Barabbas. So has it ever been. Those who refuse to acknowledge the Christ are condemned already, for they choose the evil and reject the good; they grasp the shadow and lose the substance. This, if ever before, only solidifies the state mankind is in and shall be until the day that those who are of Christ, will be called home. Today, as always, the cross of Christ both condemns and saves. Jesus was the representative man, representing the elect of God. He personified goodness, righteousness and truth. Arrayed against Him were the forces of evil-religious bigotry, love of material power, narrow nationalism, the cynicism of the intellectuals and human selfishness. Might appeared to triumph over right however, we see in the scriptures that the TRUE MIGHT of an Almighty God triumphed over evil in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Few, if any, of those who took part in this event realized that Jesus embodied the force that transforms the elect world. None had any consciousness that Jesus was ushering in the Kingdom of God founded on the person and work of Jesus.

Men and nations are at enmity with each other because they are at enmity with God; for they deprive themselves of the happiness, which comes from enjoying the fullness of the earth, the fruit of their labors and a conscience void of offense towards God and man.

The purpose for this thesis was to show a comparison between the comforts we have in these United States in our legal system, although those rights seem to diminish on a daily basis AND those lack of rights afforded Jesus Christ during HIS time on this earth.

We, who know the truth, know that this crucifixion had to be satisfied, which was an offering specifically to and for God. God be merciful to those, who are your children.

 

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